Or maybe I should call it apple & butternut squash soup. Because it's applicious. I think that's why I love it so much. The ratio of squash to apples is about 2:1, which results in a pretty sweet soup. Not dessert-sweet, but a really warm, delicious blend of sweet and savory in a single soup. Yum. Yum. So perfect for the season.I started with an Ina Garten recipe, but I changed the ingredient amounts a lot (in fact, I have a hard time imagining how her recipe works with so little liquid and so much squash). But she's got the ingredients spot-on - the magic comes from using apple juice or cider instead of just water or stock (note: I've used both apple juice and cider and couldn't tell a difference between the two). The one other change I made is to swap vindaloo seasoning for the curry that Ina called for.
This recipe is super simple and only calls for one spice (besides salt and pepper) - curry. There's loads of different kinds of curry and if you have one you really like, use it here. But if you can get your hands on some vindaloo spice - which is a blend of spices, including curry, peppers, garlic, ginger, mustard and sweeter spices like cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Think of it like a jerk rub or pumpkin pie spice - it's not a singular herb or spice, but a whole blend of dry ingredients. Vindaloo is a dish (e.g., "chicken vindaloo" that calls for all of the aforementioned spices), and I don't know how common it is to find vindaloo seasoning in a jar. I have this Penzeys vindaloo. See what you can get your hands on, otherwise use curry or make up your own blend based on the spices you like.
The reviews for Ina's recipe (with 2 tablespoons of curry) were mixed. Some said the curry flavor was too powerful and some said it wasn't strong enough. Try to think about your own curry threshold and adjust the amount of curry accordingly (stick between 1 and 2 tablespoons). If you do find vindaloo, 2 tablespoons is good.
In this soup, I like to reserve half of one of the apples to add after the soup is blended (which requires some additional time on the stove for the apples to get tender). This gives the soup some nice texture. If you don't have time, just add all the apples together.
For another short-cut, check your grocery store for pre-cut butternut squash. You can find it in the produce section. And don't be afraid to use frozen squash. I've found that with soups, generally, you can't go wrong. Heat up some veggies and fruits until tender and then blend away.
Butternut Squash & Apple SoupAdapted from this Ina Garten recipe
Makes 5 servings
1 tbs. unsalted butter
2 tbs. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 tbs. your favorite curry or vindaloo
2 lbs. cubed butternut squash (about 5 cups)
2 large apples (Granny Smith recommended), peeled and diced (1/2 diced apple reserved)
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 cups water
2 cups apple cider or apple juice (1 cup reserved)
Heat butter, olive oil, onions and curry/vindaloo in a large pot, uncovered on low heat for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Onions should be tender.
While the onions cook, peel and dice your squash and apples. Add squash, 1 and 1/2 apples, salt pepper, water and 1 cup of cider/apple juice. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook over low heat for 40 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup contents. Add remaining 1 cup of cider/juice and remaining diced apples. Cook over low heat for another 20 minutes to let the apples get tender.
If you're short on time, add all the apples up front.